Las Vegas' McCarran Airport Opens Terminal 3

Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport opened its new Terminal 3 yesterday, which is expected to make visiting the city easier for the more than 40 million passengers who annually fly through the nation’s seventh-busiest airport.

“T3” is the first unit terminal to be constructed in the United States in the post-9/11 era. It has 14 gates, seven of which can be used for international arrivals; an expansive ticketing lobby; space for two Transportation Security Administration checkpoints with up to 31 lanes; an eight-story garage with room for nearly 6,000 vehicles; more than a dozen stores and restaurants; and an automated tram system that enables Terminal 3 to handle the check-in, security and baggage claim needs of up to 26 gates at McCarran’s nearby D Concourse. Coupled with the airport’s existing infrastructure, Terminal 3 increases McCarran’s annual capacity to approximately 53 million passengers; its historic peak was nearly 48 million passengers in 2007.

Terminal 3 will also offer several new amenities: Each check-in area is equipped with kiosks that allow passengers on participating air carriers to tag their own checked baggage. In addition, each of T3’s 14 E gates has self-check-in equipment to ease the boarding process. Nearby, 14 video pylons support multiple monitors that display imagery and weather conditions for the destination cities of aircraft the E gates serve. Best of all, McCarran’s free public wireless Internet access has also been extended to allow the Wi-Fi signal to be used by passengers on aircraft that are parked at any of T3’s gates.

Terminal 3 allows McCarran to move some air carriers to relieve peak period congestion at Terminal 1. T3 will initially serve 16 international carriers, with Alaska, Frontier, JetBlue, Sun Country and Virgin America scheduled to move in on July 31. Hawaiian and United will relocate their ticketing and baggage claim to T3 on August 22, though those airlines’ flights will remain at the nearby D gates.

Photo courtesy McCarran International Airport.